Product Test: Exploring Neobux

June 11, 2012

“Where have you been?”

Sorry everyone.  I know I haven’t been too chatty on here lately, and I apologize.  As far as where I’ve been, the answer is “everywhere”.  One of those places is the service I want to introduce to you.

Neobux is a PTC – a paid to click – service where you click on ads in exchange for payment (between 0.1 cents to 2 cents per ad).  It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I have seen users who have earned a few thousands of dollars through this service.  But before I encourage you to sign up, I wanted to try it out first.

I registered with Neobux on 5/30/2012, and after my first 11 days, I have:

Advertisements seen:  321
NeoPoints received:  341
Money earned:  $0.722 (an average of 0.25 cents per ad)

I know $0.722 doesn’t sound like much, but the real money potential comes from having referrals.  With most advertising sites relying on referrals, you were forced to go out and ask your friends to sign up and/or rely on third-party individuals blindly signing up under your referral link.  Neobux is different.

With Neobux, you can “rent” referrals to earn money for you.  Starting at 60 cents, you can rent as few as 3 referrals at a time.  As long as they are clicking on ads, you are making money.  Unfortunately, sometimes you have referrals that are inactive.  Don’t worry.  You can “recycle” these referrals for new ones that are more active.  Can you recycle your friends that register as a courtesy to you but never actually use the service?

I’m not going to recommend you signing up for Neobux yet.  I’m a waiting to save up $1.00 (probably by Friday at this rate) before I rent my first referrals.  After two weeks, I’ll reassess how much money I have made (or lost) to see if it is worth to continue using the site for another month.  So check back each weekend to check out my progress.


The Landscapers Challenge

April 12, 2011

Spring has sprung, and that means it’s time to hit the outdoors.  I’ll be spending a lot of time over the next few weekends enjoying the fresh (pollen-filled) air, warm days, and the sound of the birds, but it’s not because of camping or hiking or sight-seeing.  No, it’s time to get out there and work on the yard again.

The work I did last year survived the Winter … except for my one trouble area.  After on season of sod and two seasons of seed, this is my last try before giving up and fill the area with mulch and flowers.  Below is what the area looked like last year after the grass seed took off and I landscaped around the sidewalk.

Looks lovely, doesn’t it?  Nice and lush and green?  There isn’t even any signs of pet grass stains.  Well, eight months later, this is what the same area looked like following a few snow storms (and some digging by the power company to replace a failed power line).

It is hard to believe that these pictures are from the same lawn.  Hopefully the improvements I am doing this year will pay off.  To combat the erosion problem, I have carved out a drain a few feet away from the edge of the driveway and graded the soil towards the drain.

I need about 3 or 4 more bags of gravel and then cover it up with a layer of soil as well.  In addition, where you see the erosion in the foreground, I will place a gravel drain in the planting bed as well.  This “should” resolve the problem.

This section of the lawn use to be the area with the thickest grass for years, so why it has become such a barren area now is beyond me.  One way or another, this is the last time I try to grow grass here.  HOPEFULLY it works.  I’ll keep you posted.


Gadgets I Should Get Rid Of?

March 29, 2011

I just finished reading the article “Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of (or Not)” on Yahoo, and I have some issues with their list.

1) Desktop Computer: The article quickly qualifies this entry by stating “Assuming you are not a hardcore gamer or a video editor,” you should get a laptop. I admit, modern laptops are almost on par with a desktop computer, but the writer misses a very big point – cost of upgrade. Desktop computers allow for easy upgrades with minimal costs, while the cost of upgrading a laptop can be high as well as limited.

2) High-speed Internet at Home: If you are doing any time of gaming or streaming of content online, keep the high-speed internet. Mi-Fi’s are nice when you are away from home, but when you are where you typically use the internet, stick with the real deal.

3) Cable TV: This is questionable. If you aren’t a major view of cable network channels, then you probably don’t have cable TV already (or at least you have the basic package). Coupled with the high-speed internet, if you are going to stream your movie/television content online, you need a reliable service (with no limits).

4) Point-and-shoot Cameras: “Lose it” says the author. I say he’s “lost it” already. For starters, I have a sneaky suspicion that the writer is a smart phone/gadget kinda guy (you’ll see a trend later on). While I have to admit that the new pocket cameras lack the quality of a bulkier digital camera with optical zoom, they are very convenient and easy to keep with you at all times. Secondly, who cares if your camera doesn’t have apps or if you can’t manipulate your photo right there on the device (though some do)? I can’t think of anyone I know who goes around complaining that their cameras lack those features.

5) Camcorder: To this I do agree. Camcorders are quickly becoming obsolete. Unless you are a professional videographer, your digital cameras can take quality videos that can easily be shared with others.

6) USB Thumb Drive: This guy obviously didn’t take into account work-related materials. You can’t simply upload business materials to third-party sites without the potential risk of that information being accessed by an unauthorized person. USB’s are convenient ways to carry information to/from multiple machines, especially if your computers don’t have readable-writable CD drives. Sorry author, but you are way off the mark on this one.

7) Digital Music Player: Here is the second time he recommends a smart phone. MP3 players are quite inexpensive and easy to carry without having a bulky smart phone in your pocket. My little Sony Walkman is a USB drive that plugs directly into a computer for easy uploading of music and recharging (quick charge). It weighs next to nothing, and is fantastic when working outside.

8) Alarm Clocks: Oddly enough, he champions a real clock over a smart phone (only time). Can’t really comment too much on this for the sole obvious reason – it’s easy to tap the snooze button on an alarm clock, rather than fumbling around on a smart phone.

9) GPS Unit: Yes, they are about the size and weight of a smart phone (third positive reference), but you can’t simply let your spouse/children take your phone on a road trip (unless you are buying everyone smart phones). Plus, many cars are being to offer GPS systems as regular options (or even standard in some cases) on new vehicles.

10) Books: “Duh!” Kindles are great tools, but sometimes nothing beats holding a real book, especially if you are needing to skip around in the text and/or if it is something that contains a lot of tables (like in textbooks). Still, if you are an avid reader of story books, e-readers are the way of the future.

Those are his list of ten items. I’ll add one more:

11) Smart phones: If you don’t feel like spending over $50 plus more on expensive data plans to enjoy your music, broadcast your Mi-Fi, take pictures, or find yourself when you are lost, just stick with a simple flip phone. They are usually free from your provider, and you can get away with spending as little as $30/month of the basic of plans.


Political Yard Signs

October 14, 2010

Most seasons in the United States come with artful decorations in the yard. Halloween (my favorite holiday) has pumpkins, scarecrows, and maybe a headstone or two. Christmas has holiday lights and reindeer made out of twigs. With Easter comes the pastel flowers and cut-outs of the Easter Bunny. The election season isn’t any different. With a drive down any neighborhood, you are bound to find at least one campaign sign showing support for a political candidate or a specific issue.

Sadly, Independent or third-party candidates rarely have signs available for their candidates, even if only to be placed on the roadside near the polling stations. So how is an interested voter suppose to show their support for one of these candidates, especially if the candidate is running a small budget campaign? Doing a little search online, there are many online printing services available that can print yard signs for an affordable price.

For example, on 123print.com you can purchase an 18″ x 12″ sign for as low as $6.00. With their online graphic editor, you can upload any graphic, write your own message, and select from over 20 available fonts. What better way to help out your candidate than purchasing your own sign for your neighbors to see?

Keep this in mind for when the 2012 election season begins. If you do not like the choices being presented to you by the Republicans and Democrats, go out and make a statement by creating your own political yard sign for the candidate you hope will win. You can make the difference.


Play Around in Memphis

July 27, 2010

This is a sponsored guest post written by Memphis Travel on behalf of Memphis CVB. Post powered by Sponzai.

More than just the home of the blues and barbeque, Memphis gives you plenty of ways to play around, with fun things to do no matter who you are or what you like. Of course, if you’re into Elvis, rock-and-roll and mouth-watering ribs, you’ve got to check out Graceland, Sun Studios, and the Rendezvous. But Memphis has much more to offer than this holy trinity of southern culture, with enough to see, do and eat to make it the perfect location for your next long weekend getaway. 
    The families out there (or the wild at heart) should be sure to check out the Memphis Zoo, one of only four U.S. zoos with giant pandas. Recently ranked the #1 zoo in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com, the Memphis Zoo lets you get up close and personal with the animal kingdom. And with the recent addition the Northwest Passage, home to Polar bears in a see-through underwater exhibit, and the zoo’s newest section, Teton Trek, kids and adults alike are certain to have a blast.
    Don’t let your midtown experience stop at the zoo; the Cooper-Young and Overton Square neighborhoods are just down the street. Ask a local Memphian where to find a tasty bite to eat, great local music and ice cold beer, and they will probably direct you here. Speaking of beer … the environmentally conscious visitor can enjoy a locally brewed beer by Ghost River Brewing or walk through the natural landscape and educational facilities at the Lichterman Nature Center.
    Memphis has museums for just about everything. From the Civil Rights Museum, Cotton Museum and Fire Museum in downtown to the Brooks Museum, Children’s Museum of Memphis and the Pink Palace Museum further east, the number of places to have fun while you learn are as bountiful as the barbeque restaurants. Families, friends, sports fans, history buffs, self-proclaimed food critics – Memphis has everything you need to keep everyone happy.
     So when you visit Memphis, stay a few extra days. Even the locals don’t run out of things to do. And to make it easy, memphistravel.com is launching a new travel guide to help you plan your next vacation. Simply choose from a list of interests and you’ll be given a sample itinerary with lots of great ideas. You can also register for a chance to win one of twelve trip packages that include tours, gift certificates to Memphis’ favorite restaurants, hotel stays and more. Go to itinerary.memphistravel.com to get started.


Should I buy a cargo mat?

July 12, 2010

For those of you who remember, I ended up buying a new car last year after having my last one for a decade.  My new vehicle has a larger storage section in the back which came in handy when I was rebuilding my lawn (as noted in the “Adventures in Landscaping” section).  As you can see in the picture to the right, I was able to stack multiple bags of soil without having to find creative ways to slip it into the trunk – a problem I use to have with my old sedan. 

What you might also notice in the picture is that I was using a large sheet of plastic to protect the interior from possibly being stained by the new soil.  Being a utility vehicle, it is likely that I will continue to use it to carry large (and possibly dirty) items over the next decade, so I want to make sure the interior lasts as long as possible.  One of the things I’ve considered buying was a cargo mat for the trunk.

Just as you would buy floor mats to protect from the constant wear and tear on the carpet caused by wet and dirty shoes, a cargo mat protects the trunk.  When you consider in the case like mine (where the fabric is a light color), the odds are stains will appear over time.  In fact, when I bought this car, the dealer had to do some extra scrubbing in the trunk since the car was originally owned by a car rental company. 

I haven’t settled on a mat yet, as my sheet of plastic seems to be holding up, but if I continue to haul dirt and mulch with my vehicle, it might be worth the investment.  After all, $100 now might be cheaper than paying for upholstery cleaning a few times over the life of the car.  What do you think?


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June 7, 2010

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